NKJV Care and Counsel Bible

NKJV Care and Counsel Bible

This is the third article related to Bibles offering counseling resources. Thus far, I have reviewed the NLT Life Recovery Bible and the CSB Restoration Bible and now I am reviewing the Bible offering the most comprehensive set of helps for biblical counseling, the Care and Counsel Bible from the American Association of Christian Counselors and Thomas Nelson Publishers. Unlike most of my reviews, this Bible was not provided by either the AACC or Thomas Nelson nor has this review been solicited. It is my own initiative and my opinions are my own.

Note: The Care and Counsel Bible updates the Bible for Hope which had previously updated the Soul Care Bible (I do possess a copy of the Soul Care Bible)

We will spend most of the review treating the counseling helps, though we will cover the usual review topics as well. Let’s dive right in…

Translation choice

When considering a Bible to deploy in your ministry, the most obvious consideration is the translation choice and the AACC has done well by choosing to retain the New King James Version. The NKJV is fastidiously literal but accurate and easy to read and understand. It is the mainstay translation of the late Dr, R.C. Sproul and many other well-known Bible teachers.

The Physical Book

The Care and Counsel Bible is what I consider to be a normal size Bible at 6”x 9.” The cover is imitation leather with a sewn binding so that it will hold up to the punishment that a faithful counselor will put to it. A rebind may be indicated depending upon how much use one gives and I foresee that, at some point in the future, I will end up rebinding my copy. The paper is relatively thin and there is mild see through; whether or not the see through will be irritating, I cannot say. It is not enough to bother me. This is a black letter edition which is, of course, preferred if one likes to underline, highlight, etc. We have a 9-point font for the text block.

The Topical Index

Perhaps the shining feature of the Care and Counsel Bible is the Topical Index. Over 100 topics are broken down with the appropriate Scriptures Each topic includes: a theme article,  key passage, personality profile. Soul Care Notes, and additional Scriptures related to the topic.

This Topical Index will not only benefit a counselor, it will also benefit Pastors and Teachers who will use it to teach through common issues that many Christians struggle with but are not always willing to discuss.

Theme Article

The Theme Article is our starting point for addressing a particular topic with a counselee. It is a two page article introducing the topic and providing the baseline teaching of the Bible regarding the topic.

Key Passage and Soul Notes

The Key Passage focuses on the central idea of the lesson on a counseling topic. It is around a paragraph long, provides additional scripture references and then points you to the next soul note related to the topic. Soul notes are each a paragraph long and continue to expand upon what the Bible says about a particular issue.

Personality Profile

Each personality profile highlights a person from the Bible who dealt with the issue being studied. Two to three paragraphs are provided explaining how the character dealt with the issue. There are also key lessons from that person’s life provided .

Additional Scriptures

Lastly, the additional scriptures section provides the remaining scriptures on the topic for reference in additional counseling sessions.

What’s Missing

There is nothing missing that would detract from the usefulness of this resource but I would like to see wide margins and note pages, especially notes pages. Frequently, when spending time in the Scriptures, we will find a fresh insight which could benefit a counselee and it would be good to have space to journal those thoughts.

Overall Thoughts and Use Case

I have a sermon scheduled for 10/20 on the Bible and depression. My current lesson prep is, actually, following the flow laid out in the care and counsel Bible. Naturally, I will not be able to cover everything in a single sermon but this will be most helpful.

I really wish that the Care and Counsel Bible had mass market availability from Thomas Nelson as opposed to only being available to AACC members. The Care and Counsel Bible, more than any other “study” Bible needs to be in the hands of any pastor who finds himself concerned with the spiritual welfare of the members of his congregation. It is, of course, basic enough to help a new pastor who has not engaged in Biblical Counseling/Pastoral Care before and in-depth enough to provide a solid refresher for the seasoned counselor.

I am beyond pleased with the Care and Counsel Bible. In the week that I have had it, the Bible has already seen enough use to let me know that it will most definitely be getting the re-bind treatment in the next few months. When I send it in, I will have some note pages added and a couple extra ribbons.

 

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